TOMORROW will mark the second outing on my WH Smith North of England tour with a visit to Durham, which I am really looking forward to.
Thankfully stage one of the four date tour went really well with 52 books sold at Newcastle WH Smith, where I met a lot of really nice friendly people and discovered that there is a big audience for crime fiction in the heart of Geordie land.
The picture to the right shows me thanking the lovely Lucy for becoming my 50th book sale at Newcastle a fortnight back!
Back in the early noughties I used to visit Durham quite regularly and it is a lovely City with a magnificent Cathedral that dates back to 1093.
It is also where one of my favourite TV Cops, Inspector George Gently has his adventures and the frustrating thing about tomorrow and book signings in general, is that you see very little of the place you are visiting other than the inside of the book shop.
I am a big Martin Shaw fan, having been raised on ‘The Professionals’, the superb seventies theme tune of which supplies the ring tone to my mobile!!
I also went to see the great man starring in ‘A Man for all Seasons’ at the Theatre Royal Glasgow a few years back but it as George Gently, ‘the coppers copper’, that I revere him most….although to be fair Mr Shaw wasn’t bad in Judge John Deed either!!!
But of one thing there is no doubt, I will find time to manufacture a pint in one of the city centre’s atmospheric hostelries and endeavour to soak up the ‘atmos’ and take in the local characters and put them in my back pocket for future writing reference, before I get the train back to old Stirling town.
As any of you who read my blogs will know, wherever I go I am always looking for characters and locations from my travels that can be used for my novels and I am pleased to say that my recent trip to Kingston Upon Thames, when I stayed in Wimbledon for a weekend, has just yielded significant lineage for the current MS I am working on entitled ‘Fear’, which is about disgraced ex-SAS trooper Ludovic Fear.
So the target for tomorrow’s trip to Durham is both to sell a few books and also make the most of the unique sights and sounds of this fine old English city, which may one day soon find its way into one of my forthcoming novels.
No pressure then!